Autumn has appeared with its "coolcrisp"* days but for today summer still seems to be in the air with the debut of Irene Latham's newest book, This Poem Is A Nest. Sunshine and warmth are bathed in this book's descriptive words and imaginative poetic nestlings. "Delightful" is a single word of praise chosen by Kirkus to describe this engaging book so let's see why. (*one of Irene Latham's lovely new "pressed together", unique words)
Come join me as I take a look at this small-sized, amazing poetry book, unlike others. What is crafted inside is a beautiful 37-line poem taking the reader through the building of a nest in spring and developing the thoughts through the winter season. From this imaginative beginning, 161 little nestlings, small poems, fly out not from robin blue eggs but from Irene Latham's creative writing talent. Within the four source poems and the nestlings, Irene sparks joy, both for herself and the reader, while introducing a new concept, nest-poems.
"What fun to play with words, to arrange and rearrange, and to watch some of them learn to fly!"
I am honored to join a group of fellow bloggers reviewing Irene's beautiful book of joyful poetry that also showcases Johanna Wright's delightful illustrations.
Upon initially reading Irene's poetry book, I tweeted, "I am in wonderment over all the little nestling #poems coming from your central ones, Irene. Congratulations! "
Irene responded, "'wonderment' was pretty much my state of being the entire time working on that book! (another word for 'joy," yes?)"
Now, let's look at Irene's book with the lens of teacher-writers who craft lessons for their flock of fledglings specifically to bring joy to their writing. The strength of Irene's book lies not only in its uniqueness but in her ability to inspire and coach others to be creative and engage in word play. A question to ask is how do we begin? Irene encourages writers to find a starting point. Using a nest such as Nest II: Summer leads writers to engage in creative word play and the crafting of smaller poems, an outgrowth of the original nest.
Nestlings appear in Season Poems, or "Nest Abridged
sky, empty -
they wait for you
and also in The Color My World section.
One of the sections of the book that resonates with me is Tips From A Nest Builder: How To Find Nestlings. This advice/coaching section provides writers with a plan to quickly engage in an adventure into writing. Select a word to wrap your small poem around and add a chain of words from the original nest to fit your subject. The next step allows for creative word play. "Just like birds build their nest with whatever is available to them-straw, shoelaces, paper, mud!-you, too, can be inventive." More tips are provided before adding words of wisdom: "Nurture your nestings. Fly!"
For those who love words, there are alphabet poems, wordplay poems, and definition poems that allow young writers to have fun with format, white space, and words.
H is for Hive
Between its pages, This Poem Is A Nest is filled with inspiration and hope for writers to be as inventive as they choose to be.
As you open your heart to this experience, I hope you will find that there is nothing more joyful than discovering yourself and the world in a poem-nest. -Irene Latham
I sing praises for Irene Latham's inspired creativeness as a poem-nest originator. Now, just like school children release their butterflies, I let go of my summer nestlings on this autumn day to fly into the world of social media. Thank you, Irene, for the joyful experience of discovering a new poetic diversion during our pandemic life.
May your writing journey be filled with many nest experiences
that bring you a sense of wonderment.
Boyds Mills and Kane, publisher of Irene Latham's book, offers a raffle prize of This Poem Is A Nest to one person who comments about Irene Latham's book in the section below. The winner will be announced at the end of the weekend. All responders need to add their street address in the comment section along with their response.
Okay, I'm calling my indie right now and ordering the book! But I would love to win a copy and would gladly gift it to a lovely home. How wonderful to have Irene's book in our world and people like you, Carol, to share it.ReplyDelete
I am glad that you are the first to comment, Ramona. Beside the WOW nests, and nestlings, the illustrations are noteworthy. The grandchildren will like the book being read to them.Delete
Oh my goodness!I'm so glad that you drew my attention to this book. It looks like wonderful fun. I'm putting it on my "to order" list - and then I have to decide if I share it with my own kids or my students first...ReplyDelete
That is a tough decision to make, Amanda. This book is a keeper for any child & young adult. Thank you for joining in the fun.Delete
a gold-dust poem! I love that, Carol! Thank you so much for sharing about NEST here... you are helping turn my nestlings into fledglings! xoReplyDelete
May the nestlings soar into the vast seaglass sky of social media with flip-flapping, #feather-fluff wings, Irene. I just love your word play.Delete
Thank you for sharing, Carol! As we are now “empty nesters,” Irene Latham’s book calls to me. I cannot wait to see it! Thank you for the opportunity!ReplyDelete
Jennifer, love the addition of the empty nesters' thought, Jennifer. Irene's book with call to parents, teachers, librarians, and so many others. I am glad that you joined me to hear what possibilities lie within Irene's pages.Delete
Thank you for sharing,Carol! The book looks lovely! The word play sounds like fun!!ReplyDelete
Jayne, your middle schoolers will enjoy this books as will our little Sierra who is a good judge of books to read. Thanks for stopping by and hooray for word play.Delete
Carol, what a beautiful showcase for A Poem is a Nest, with its captivating poetic creativity and the winsome illustrations. I love the inventive, pressed together words, too, like "coolcrisp." Then there's "seaglass sky" - compelling and evocative on so many counts. Layers of loveliness in that image. You kept the feathery-warm metaphor going so well throughout your post - I especially appreciate the shift to teaching writing for "a flock of fledglings," young writers, and how they, like poems, like butterflies, like transformed nestlings, are eventually released from a place of nurturing to fly free in the world. This is a gold-dust post, all around.ReplyDelete
Fran, your response made me smile because it is written in your beautiful literary style. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding your comments.Delete
So amazing and creative! I can't wait to hold this book in my hands.ReplyDelete
You and your students will love this book. I am sure all of you will want to write nestlings of your own, Ruth.Delete
This is a beautiful book! I love to teach kids poetry, but you need the right mentor texts.ReplyDelete
This will be a great mentor text for you and your students.Delete